Gartner Analyst Merv Adrian weighed in on “Hadoop Open Source, ‘Purity,’ and Market Realities” in his blog over the weekend. He writes:
“The fact is, there is an entire industry building products atop Apache open source code – and that is the point of having Apache license its projects and provide the other services it does for the open source community…
“Having some components of your solution stack provided by the open source community is a fact of life and a benefit for all. So are roads, but nobody accuses Fedex or your pizza delivery guy of being evil for using them without contributing some asphalt,” says Adrian.
One aspect I’d like to highlight is the importance of ‘standard’ interfaces, defined through community consensus, and enforced by the Apaches and the likes.I think it makes perfect sense to offer a commercial implementation that is superior to the implementation you get ‘for free’ – as long as you’re 100% compatible with the community-defined standard.